Murray’s Argument in the Bell Curve

The first cardinal sin in an intellectual debate is to criticize your opponent without understanding their view. Here are a set of propositions, not necessarily consistent or complete set, that seem to appear in Murray’s The Bell Curve. Which one’s represent Murray’s views?

(P1) Intelligence is a meaningful scientific concept.

(P2) Intelligence can be quantified.

(P3) The whole of Intelligence can be quantified.

(P4) The whole of Intelligence can be quantified by IQ tests.

(P5) Some portion of Intelligence can be quantified by IQ tests.

(P6) IQ tests capture innate ability.

(P7) There are racial or ethnic differences in Intelligence.

(P8) Different races or ethnic groups (e.g. Blacks) have performed differently on IQ tests.

(P9) Because IQ tests primarily capture innate ability, their basis is primarily genetic.

(P10) Intelligence correlates with a variety of cognitive behaviors.

(P11) Intelligence correlates with a variety of moral behaviors.

(P12) IQ correlates with a variety of cognitive behaviors.

(P13) IQ correlates with a variety of moral behaviors.

(P14) Intelligence causes a variety of cognitive behaviors.

(P15) Intelligence causes a variety of moral behaviors.

(P16) IQ causes a variety of cognitive behaviors.

(P17) IQ causes a variety of moral behaviors.

(P18) Because IQ is primarily innate and it causes a variety of cognitive and moral behaviors, interventions to change those behaviors are fruitless.

(P19) Because Blacks (as a group) have a lower IQ and IQ is primarily innate and IQ causes a variety of cognitive and moral behaviors (including undesirable moral ones), Blacks (as a group) have a higher probability of performing undesirable behaviors, and those behaviors can’t be changed.

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  1. Joseph Lowe says:

    Dr. Essa,

    Thank you for summarizing and creating a set of propositions that may be found in Murray’s The Bell Curve. Please accept my apology for any perceived rudeness from my tweet last night regarding the Internet and the location of Murray’s datasets. Twitter limits us to 140 characters which preclude formalities. Here’s the actual dataset link page: https://t.co/1u8ATsyrmY.

    My interest in following your arguments concern P18 and P19, but not from the perspective of non-Blacks vs. Blacks grouping. I work as an intelligence analyst and my interest lies in the raced-based cognitive behaviors of the tribal nations located in the Middle East if such behaviors exist and can be quantified. I have my doubts and instead I lean more to culture and ideology-based behavior over cognitive and intelligence-based behavior.

    I look forward to your discussions and presentation.

    Warmest regards,

    Joey Lowe

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